loolaa: (Jamie Madrox What?)
While at work the other day, and working incredibly hard I might add, I stumbled across this 'story' in one of the service users magazines. The magazine in question is aimed at little girls (service user is 29 but I'm not going into the whole 'age appropriate' issue. She wanted it. She bought it with her own money. End of.) and is called 'I ♥ Ponies'. It's pretty crap, even if you like ponies. Very little effort has been put into this magazine. For example, when I was a child some of the girls mags/comics had a 'find the picture within the picture' game. It was usually an illustration with the hidden pictures cleverly integrated into it. A shell might be hidden in the curl of someones hair or something like that. However, 'I ♥ Ponies' has a big photograph of a girl and her pony show jumping, then it invites the child to find the 'hidden pictures'. These 'hidden' pictures are smaller photos of red double decker buses and penguins with guitars (seriously) )randomly pasted in the sky, or on the floor. I feel the people working on the magazine are a little bitter that they're stuck with 'I ♥ Ponies' and wish they were working for 'Cosmopolitan' or something.

Anyway, that aside, it has a two page comic starring the magazines flagship character 'Sparkle The Pony'. On first read it was just a crap and pointless story and like the whole of the magazine designed as filler.  On my second read through it was still a crap and pointless story only with a bit of a sinister edge.

Fig. 1: The first page of 'Sparkle and Friends in… The Ice Cave!' )

Apart from the ugly illustrations there's not really much to worry about on the first page. The ponies are bored and their 'friend' Mr Tiggles invites them to come to an underground ice cave and eat ice lollies. Very sweet and cute of him. However the last panel hints at the horror of things to come when Mr Tiggles tells the ponies that the slide is the only way to get in. Sparkle comments that it looks scary, but her fears are dismissed by Mr Tiggles with a confidence crushing "Nonsense!"
Things take a grim turn in the second half:

Fig. 2: Page 2 of 'Sparkle and Friends in… The Ice Cave!' )

We see the two ponies and Mr Tiggles recklessly sliding down the slippery icy tunnel to get to the Underground Ice Cave. This tunnel is the only way out and our heroines Sparkle and Buttons are not only extraordinarily stupid, a characteristic Mr Tiggles exploits to the fullest for his sadistic pleasure, they also have hooves. I've seen horses slip on muddy concrete so how the hell are they going to get back up that steep ice slide? Simple. They aren't. They will try and they will fail as their hooves are unable to gain any traction while they attempt to walk back up that slick slope. There may also be a couple of broken legs. We all know what happens to lame horses. So unless the ruthless Mr Tiggles goes for help Sparkle and Buttons are trapped forever.
The ponies aren't aware of this yet, due to their idiocy and greedy focus on obtaining Ceiling Lollies. However they are soon shocked to discover that the tasty ice lollies in question are actually icicles.

Mr Tiggles then rolls over with mirth and cackles evilly: "You ponies never learn, do you!" All that is missing is a 'BWAH HAHAHAHAHA! Enjoy your frozen deaths, imbeciles!'
This story is never resolved. That is it. We're left with Buttons and Sparkle trapped in the Underground Ice Cave sans ice lollies. With only the intense cold and the steady realisation that the two of them are thick as pigshit.

Meanwhile I imagine Mr Tiggles pads off gleefully and climbs out of the frozen grave with his useful cat claws and searches for his next pony victim. I know for a fact there's another one called Sunbeam because she came free on the cover.

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December 2015

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